South Sacramento California Highway Patrol (CHP) was dispatched just after midnight last Friday to a train versus vehicle incident, which originated at the Twin Cities Road crossing and ended over 3,000 feet south on Spring Street east of Saddle Crest Circle. The driver of the Chevy 2500, a 68-year-old male from Walnut Grove, died in the crash.
According to CHP, the train was traveling southbound approaching Twin Cities Road when the conductor spotted a pickup traveling westbound on Twin Cities approaching the crossing gates, which were already down with red lights flashing.
“(The) Chevy slowed down as if preparing to stop,” the CHP report said. “The driver of the Chevy suddenly accelerated and drove around the east side of the crossing arm to cross the tracks before the approaching train. The conductor applied emergency brakes but the engine collided with the Chevy.”
The train finally stopped at Spring Street with the Chevy still in tow on its front pilot, or cowcatcher. It is unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the incident.
CHP warned the public that this is a tragic reminder not to cross tracks when the gates are down.
“The time you save, most of the times just a few minutes, isn’t worth your life,” the CHP report said.